YMCA DLG helped set up Galvanise Brighton & Hove, a campaign engaging local people to work together and end rough sleeping. Part of the European Campaign to End Street Homelessness, the project has seen over 1,000 volunteers survey rough sleepers in cities across Europe, from Valencia to London.

Galvanise Brighton & Hove (GalvaniseBH) is a community-led campaign with local people working together to end rough sleeping. YMCA DLG are leading on the campaign, supported by Brighton YMCA, St. Mungo’s, The Passage, Fulfilling Lives, Brighton and Hove City Council and a variety of community organisations and local businesses.

GalvaniseBH is part of the European Campaign to End Street Homelessness, a project which has seen over 1,000 volunteers survey rough sleepers in cities across Europe, from Valencia to London.

At the end of 2017, 160 community volunteers in Brighton and Hove spoke to rough sleepers about their lives, hopes and aspirations in a week of action called Connections Week. The purpose was to ensure that the views of homeless people feed into service redesign and to bring together different sections of society to discuss innovative housing solutions. The aim is that no-one has the need to sleep rough by 2020, in line with the aspirations of the City’s Rough Sleeping Strategy.

Watch this heart-warming short film by Toby Madden on how this campaign is being run across Europe.

A report summarising the key findings and recommendations from the surveys was used to inform discussions at an Innovation Event intended to find practical solutions to rough sleeping, and is available to read below:

The Innovation Event 

The Innovation Event took place on Tuesday 27 March 2018 and was designed to bring together the local community and the homelessness sector to discuss innovative housing solutions, and to match recommendations with resources.

During this event, we outlined what we have done so far in the campaign and shared the recommendations from the report based on the analysis of the data volunteers collected while surveying rough sleepers in the November 2017 Connections Week.

The evening centred on informal discussions in small groups around innovative housing solutions for rough sleepers and began the process of trying to identify resources which could help make these ideas a reality.

The ultimate aim of the evening was to form Ambition Development Groups focused around a select set of innovations that can be worked on throughout 2018 and 2019.

Sleep Easy

On Friday 16th March 2018, YMCA DLG hosted a fundraising event called Sleep Easy, raising money for GalvaniseBH and YMCA DLG to help change the lives of homeless or vulnerable people.

177 people (90 in Brighton & Hove) spent one night under the stars to better understand the experience of sleeping rough, swapping their beds for a sleeping bag and cardboard box. It was chilly and uncomfortable, but over £30,000 was raised in Brighton & Hove, half of which has gone to GalvaniseBH.

£11,000 of this fund went to Umbrella Brighton & Hove, who work to get the homeless into homes by providing interest free loans to cover fees, deposits and other associated costs of entering private sector accommodation; as well as appropriate transitional support once they are in their new home. This will help a number of the low need rough sleepers we identified during Connections Week.

How can I get involved?

For volunteering opportunities, check out www.galvanisebh.org.